Y9 IBM Festival of Innovation
On Friday 21 September a group of Year 9 girls attended the Festival of Innovation at IBM's Research and Development site at Hursley Park, Winchester. The afternoon was designed to broaden the girls’ knowledge of the IT industry and help them with their GCSE subject choices whilst also strengthening soft skills and encouraging innovation.
On arrival, there was a celebratory atmosphere at Hursley Park. It was the 60th anniversary of innovation at this location, where many inventions that have influenced the way we live now, such as ATMs and hard disks, were very first developed. Shockingly, the schools attending were taken into the lecture room and immediately informed there had been a security breach! The pupils were given the task of tracking down an IBM employee who was guilty of hacking into another's account. They had to do this by completing a series of workshop challenges which, in turn, provided clues. Tasks included looking for clues in an escape room and using these to breaking codes and completing a treasure hunt in the Hursley Museum. The girls also tried out examples of the latest technology being developed at IBM such as machine learning programming and quantum computing, the latter being demonstrated with chocolate coins. As ever, the St Gabriel’s team rose to all challenges put before them with great enthusiasm. They were also successful in naming the correct culprit, who was last seen running from the building whilst proclaiming his innocence!